|Birth: ||Aug. 31, 1847|
|Death: ||Apr. 20, 1923|
A prominent representative of the real estate interests of Kansas City, & formerly identified with her wholesale trade, was born 8/31/1847 in Boone County, Missouri. His parents were Washington & Pheraba (Wright) La Force. The father was a native of KY, but came to MO during the pioneer days, in about 1830, locating in Boone County, near the town of Columbia. Throughout his useful life he was a resident of Missouri, & his closing days were passed in Mexico, Audrain County. The mother was born in this state, Boone County. The early members of the La Force family lived in VA, of French descent, & the first man of that name in this country of whom the members of the family have indirect knowledge, is mentioned in the writings of Washington Irving, & was presumably of the stock through which the subject of this sketch might trace his genealogy. The branch of Wright family to which the mother belonged lived in TN in an early day, removed thence to KY & from that state to MO. Felix L. La Force was educated in the common schools of Boone County, MO. After leaving school he engaged in the mercantile business at Columbia, first as a clerk in the employ of Jonathan Kirkbride, a typical Quaker, & then succeeding to the business as owner. In 1881 Mr. La Force removed to Kansas City, &, having prospered in his retail ventures, was enabled to enlarge the scope of his operations. He embarked in the wholesale dry goods business, the style of the firm being Grimes, Woods, La Force & Co. It so continued until 1885, when it was merged into the W. B. Grimes Dry Goods Co., which was succeeded by the Swofford Dry Goods Company, now one of the largest establishments of its kind in the west. Mr. La Force was the buyer for his house, & his judicious & careful methods made success possible. After leaving the wholesale business he established the firm of F. L. La Force & Co., being associated with his brother, W. B. La Force, & paying attention to brokerage, stocks, bonds, real estate & loans. W. B. La Force left the firm in 1895, & since that time its founder has conducted the business alone. Mr. La Force was a Democrat, & was a member of the Christian church. He was married, in 1880, to Miss Ella Estill, of Howard County, Missouri, daughter of Colonel J. R. Estill. The latter, who was a distinguished, though unassuming man, was the owner of one of the finest farms in the country, embracing 3,000 acres of highly cultivated soil, was a curator of the MO State University, & a gentleman beloved & held in highest regard by all who knew him. He died in the early part of 1900 at an advanced age. Mr. La Force was a director in the Union National Bank, of Kansas City, was identified with the leading commercial interests of his city & vicinity, & was one of the men who made Kansas City's substantial growth & sure advancement possible.
Bio courtesy the book "Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri: A Compendium of History ..., Volume 3 edited by Howard Louis Conard"
Forest Hill Cemetery
Created by: DMLeForce
Record added: Aug 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55847063